A wonderful community of people

I just returned from a four-day backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was an amazing adventure with some unique challenges including some extremely cold temperatures, deep snow and National Park Service requirements to pack out our human waste due to the winter conditions. We shot lots of footage for our next film, so stay tuned!

On a separate topic, last week I went to my very first local ostomy association meeting, sponsored by the Ostomy Association of Metro Denver. I had intended to go much sooner, as I am sure it would have been very benecial right after surgery. Unfortunately, during those first couple of months, I had a few healing hiccups and didn’t feel up to it. After that, other scheduling conflicts always seemed to crop up. Finally, things lined up and I headed to my first meeting.

I was a little nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but those fears quickly vanished as I found myself among some of the most welcoming people I have ever met.

Some of the individuals had been ostomates for a very long time, and others for just a matter of weeks. After having to tiptoe around the subject with many people in my everyday circles, it was so refreshing to be able to jump right in and talk about ostomies with people who understood. My friends and family have been incredibly supportive through all of this and have always been there for me to talk to. However, there reaches a point where I feel bad about continuously bringing up surgery and ostomy subjects with them. Yet now, after I have had a chance to process the experience more, is when I find myself wanting to talk about these things the most. This ostomy group is going to be a wonderful community of people for me to share and connect with. I can’t wait until my next meeting!

If you are contemplating surgery or have gone through it, I highly recommend getting involved with your local ostomy association.

3 thoughts on “A wonderful community of people

  1. Wow I didn’t even know the Ostomy Association of Metro Denver existed… and I coulda swore I searched for one… (*shaking fist at sky*) Damn you Google!!!


  2. My name is LeeAnn Barcus. I am the current Vice President of the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (running for President Elect this election) . I am so glad to find your blog and to read that you have found the local support group. There is a National Support group as well and a website that can offer a great Discussion Board , also an easier way to find Affiliated Support Groups nationwide.
    Your listing the group on your blog is a step to helping the group be found easier on google, thank you for that. What a great blog~~~~!!!! You do some amazing things and it is great for those with ostomies to read that they , too, can do these things and continue life as it was, with a renewed sense of strength and vigor. Many go on to do things they were not able to accomplish in their days when ill.
    The UOAA is having a National Conference in Reno/Sparks, NV this August 7-11. We have a great program scheduled, which does include a session presented by Rob Hill who has topped all 7 of the highest summits WITH an ostomy. He is going to be there talking about his latest adventure, which was topping Mt.Everest. We will, also, have some great educational sessions and breakout sessions. You can see our schedule at http://www.ostomy.org . It would be great if you could join the conference.

    I look forward to reading your blog as you continue to post. Again, I am so glad that the timing worked and you found the local Group. I am also glad that you mentioned it in your blog and one of your readers is now aware of it!! I see I am able to leave my email below, feel free to contact me if you wish. I look forward to hearing from you.

    LeeAnn Barcus
    Vice President, UOAA

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